Alamo region landscapes range from ports and beaches along the flat eastern coastline to Hill Country brush and cedars in the west. Commerce in each landscape is centered on a metropolitan area, with San Antonio in the west and Victoria in the east. Traditionally, the San Antonio area has benefited from a large military presence, while the coastal area surrounding Victoria has supported manufacturing largely related to petroleum.
Today, the San Antonio economy relies on a strong health services sector that includes a University of Texas Health Science Center and a number of leading hospitals. Army medical centers and other military facilities in the area contribute to the city’s health care industry cluster as well.
Although the region’s manufacturing industry is not expected to grow significantly, the sector maintains a large economic share throughout the region, particularly in Victoria. Businesses that manufacture metals, chemicals and plastic products are concentrated near Victoria, attracted by ports and easy access to raw materials.
Construction in the Alamo region should follow state economic trends, with strong growth expected to resume as the economy recovers.
As with the rest of the state, the region’s future growth will depend less on its traditional goods-producing industries and more on service jobs, such as health care, and professional and business services.
Job growth should remain strong in the region’s non-metro counties, with positive growth in each year through 2013 despite the recent recession.
Alamo Region Employment Indices, 2003-2013
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.
Industry Employment Projection Indices, Alamo Region, 2003-2013
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Exhibit 2 shows employment projections for the Alamo region through 2013, including San Antonio and Victoria, the region’s two metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), as well as its eight predominately rural counties. These projections are presented in the form of growth indices relative to the base year of 2003, in which values are equal to 100 for that year.
The region has experienced job growth similar to that of the state as a whole. The Comptroller expects regional employment growth to accelerate in 2010 following slow growth in 2009. Employment in the San Antonio MSA should see a similar pattern, dropping slightly in 2009 and resuming growth in 2010. Job growth should remain strong in the region’s non-metro counties, with positive growth in each year through 2013 despite the recent recession.
In 2008, Alamo region employers provided a total of 995,474 jobs. Exhibit 3 provides a detailed picture of projected employment growth in the region, displaying growth indices for various industries in the region, using 2003 as the base year. Employment for these industries is presented at the 11-industry “supersector” level of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).1
A supersector, as identified by a two-digit NAICS code, represents an aggregation of industries producing related goods and services. At this level, industries are classified into either goods-producing or service-producing supersectors.
The goods-producing group comprises three supersectors – natural resources and mining, construction and manufacturing. The service-producing group comprises eight supersectors including education and health; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; finance; trade, transportation and utilities; other services; government; and information.
Nine of the 11 supersectors in Exhibit 3 should show positive growth between 2003 and 2013, with exceptional growth in education and health services. In all, Alamo region employment should rise by 23 percent over this period, despite the current national downturn.
Of the nine supersectors projected to grow by 2013, three should show steady expansion, adding jobs each year. Employment in the region’s educational and health services should lead all industries, rising by 44 percent through 2013, largely due to positive growth in home health care services. Home health care will contribute more jobs to the sector than any other industry, accounting for 20 percent of projected regional job creation by 2013. The next strongest health-related industry in terms of expected growth is physicians’ offices, accounting for 14 percent of jobs in 2013. Educational industries should see more modest growth.
Employment in the region’s educational and health services should lead all industries, rising by 44 percent from 2003 through 2013.
The region’s financial sector also should expand each year, rising from 64,870 jobs in 2003 to 77,984 jobs in 2013, a gain of 20 percent. Commercial banking will account for 30 percent of sector growth, with an expected net increase of 3,878 jobs from 2003 to 2013. With an expected 11,524 jobs, commercial banking will trail only direct property and casualty insurers in total number of financial jobs in 2013. Jobs in portfolio management should more than double over the period, rising from 950 jobs in 2003 to 2,626 jobs in 2013.
Finally, the trade, transportation and utilities sector is expected to add jobs each year, growing 19 percent by 2013, from 162,442 to 193,594 jobs. Jobs at discount department stores represent the largest expected gain, more than doubling from 2,384 jobs in 2003 to 7,668 jobs in 2013. With more than 200 establishments in the region, job growth at supermarkets and grocery stores will remain strong. The industry leads the sector in expected total employment, with 19,109 jobs by 2013.
Despite various industry downturns during the period, other sectors should show job growth through 2013. Expected growth in the professional and business services sector, at more than 39 percent, trails only that for educational and health services, even with a slowdown in 2009 from the current economic downturn.
Government leads all sectors in employment, with nearly 230,000 jobs projected by 2013, representing nearly one out of five jobs in the region. The military represents nearly 19 percent of these jobs, with an additional 8,500 jobs in the region by 2011 due to the military Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program.
Other regional industry sectors anticipating positive job growth during the period include leisure and hospitality (33 percent), agriculture, natural resources and mining (28 percent) and other services (14 percent).8
Job growth depends upon a region’s underlying economic structure. That structure relies on multiple factors including natural resources, labor force characteristics and the composition and concentration of the region’s industries.
This latter characteristic, also called clustering, is particularly important since industry clusters give firms within them access to more suppliers and a pool of skilled laborers with valuable knowledge and information.12 The benefits that result from high industry concentrations give a region its competitive edge.13
One tool that can be used to identify industry concentration is the “location quotient.” The location quotient identifies industry concentrations by comparing the share of a region’s economy attributable to a specific industry to the share that same industry accounts for in the nation’s economy.
In essence, the share an industry accounts for in the national economy is seen as the “norm” for that industry, so comparing that norm with its share of a regional economy indicates whether that region tends to have “a lot” or “a little” of a particular industry. Typically, a region will contain “a lot” of industries for which it has some natural or developed competitive advantage, based for instance on a local abundance of a particular resource, a favorable climate, an advantageous natural feature (such as proximity to a port), a highly educated labor force or some other factor.
A location quotient greater than one indicates a high regional employment concentration in an industry compared to the same industry at the national level. This means that the region is “specialized” in that particular industry. A location quotient of less than one indicates that the region’s concentration in the industry is less than the national industry level. In essence, the region is less specialized in that given industry.
Exhibit 4 lists industries in the Alamo region with location quotients exceeding 2.0 based on 2008 employment, meaning the region’s share of employment in an industry is at least twice as large as the nation’s share. These industries are grouped according to their respective NAICS supersectors and ranked from the highest to lowest location quotient within each supersector.14
Expected growth in the professional and business services sector, at more than 39 percent, trails only that for educational and health services, even with a slowdown in 2009 from the current economic downturn.
The Alamo region has a high concentration of manufacturing, led by alumina refining. The alumina refining industry is concentrated in Victoria MSA and has a location quotient of 38.32, meaning the industry’s level of employment in the Alamo region is more than 38 times larger than the nation’s share. The next highest location quotient is in all “other information services,” which is mostly located in the San Antonio MSA and includes occupations in library services, news syndicates, and internet publishing.
Most Competitive Industries
While location quotients provide important information on regional industry concentrations, they offer only a snapshot – a static measure at a particular point in time. To assess the competitive resilience of a regional industry, a more dynamic measure is needed. One such measure is “shift-share analysis.”
In this analysis, the change in an industry’s regional presence is divided into three components: the portion attributable to the overall growth or decline in the nation’s economy (the national growth effect); that attributable to the difference between the national trend for an industry and the national trend for all industries (the industry mix effect); and that attributable to the region’s competitiveness as a site for the industry (the regional competitiveness effect).
Exhibit 5 lists the Alamo region’s most competitive industries based on shift-share analysis. The industries are ranked based on their employment change in the regional competitiveness component (and thus the industry’s comparative advantage in the region) between 2003 and 2008.
The Alamo region has a diverse list of competitive industries, with eight different industries occupying the top ten. The two highest-ranked industries are in food services. Local factors (from the competitiveness effect) contributed around 45 percent of job growth for these two industries between 2003 and 2008. The remaining growth was due to a growing national economy during the period, and the fact that industry growth was outpacing overall national growth. Industries with favorable local conditions (such as an extensive infrastructure or favorable government policies) combined with a growing national industry have the highest potential for future growth.
Exhibit 6 lists the five most competitive industries by area for the San Antonio MSA, Victoria MSA and non-metro counties.
Good Jobs for the Future
Shift-share analysis identifies the region’s most competitive industries – those that possess the best chances for increased employment opportunities. But what types of occupations can Alamo residents expect to find within these industries?
Exhibit 7 presents a list of “good jobs” for the region’s future, grouping them based on their educational requirements.
For the purpose of this analysis, a “good job” is one for which median annual earnings, as reported by the Texas Workforce Commission, exceed the state’s 2008 per capita personal income level of $38,575.17 In the Alamo region, 228 occupations pay more than this amount.
Occupations requiring both a college degree and work experience command the highest annual earnings, with weighted median earnings of $82,986 for the region. Occupations requiring a doctoral or professional degree provide the second-highest earnings, with weighted median earnings of $82,490. Occupations requiring a master’s degree ranked third, with a weighted median of $56,454.
Many occupations in the Alamo region requiring an associate degree yield higher earnings than those requiring a bachelor’s degree (without work experience). Associate degree occupations offer weighted median earnings of $54,561, while bachelor’s degree occupations offer weighted median earnings of $51,221.
It should be noted that many of the region’s occupations that meet the “good jobs” definition do not require a college degree. A number that require related work experience, on-the-job-training or postsecondary vocational training also provide good wages. Jobs requiring short-term, on-the-job training but no postsecondary education provide weighted median earnings of $49,643. Occupations requiring postsecondary vocational training provide weighted median earnings of $43,513 annually.
Exhibit 8 lists 25 occupations expected to have the highest number of job openings in the Alamo region between 2008 and 2013. Retail sales top the list, with 15,411 job openings from 2008 to 2013 and median annual earnings of $19,204.19
Ten of the 25 occupations require only short-term, on-the-job training. These provide median annual earnings ranging between $14,502 and $21,753. Three occupations require a bachelor’s degree, including elementary school teachers, property managers and chief executives. One occupation, postsecondary teaching, requires a graduate degree.
Occupations with the Most Projected Job Openings, Alamo Region, 2008-2013
|Rank||Description||2008 Jobs||2013 Jobs||Total Job Openings||Growth||Replacement||2008 Median Annual Earnings|
|2||Customer service representatives||27,570||31,122||10,919||3,552||7,367||$23,957|
|3||Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food||28,881||32,899||10,793||4,018||6,775||$15,252|
|4||Waiters and waitresses||19,429||21,845||10,172||2,416||7,756||$15,128|
|5||Personal and home care aides||15,239||19,641||10,162||4,402||5,760||$14,903|
|6||Cashiers, except gaming||26,827||28,440||10,079||1,613||8,466||$17,228|
|8||Real estate sales agents||14,280||17,853||8,281||3,573||4,708||$14,715|
|9||Real estate brokers||13,185||16,630||7,937||3,445||4,492||$14,387|
|11||Elementary school teachers, except special education||15,516||17,900||6,466||2,384||4,082||$45,413|
|12||Office clerks, general||19,853||22,025||6,158||2,172||3,986||$21,753|
|14||Maids and housekeeping cleaners||16,521||18,708||5,906||2,187||3,719||$15,633|
|15||First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers||18,736||20,678||5,870||1,942||3,928||$28,997|
|16||Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners||16,877||18,843||5,527||1,966||3,561||$18,183|
|17||Managers, all other||13,649||15,670||5,379||2,021||3,358||$35,108|
|18||Property, real estate, and community association managers||9,924||12,250||5,335||2,326||3,009||$19,782|
|19||Child care workers||12,276||14,042||5,286||1,766||3,520||$14,502|
|20||Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks||15,420||17,030||4,418||1,610||2,808||$27,065|
|21||Home health aides||7,486||9,490||4,361||2,004||2,357||$17,292|
|22||Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants||11,509||13,341||4,187||1,832||2,355||$20,553|
|24||Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive||20,795||22,021||4,095||1,226||2,869||$24,631|
|25||Executive secretaries and administrative assistants||12,718||14,240||4,060||1,522||2,538||$33,385|
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.
One of the many functions of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is to analyze demographics, labor force statistics and other economic factors needed to generate local economic growth, and to provide this information to local governments and other groups. Through its Texas EDGE (Economic Data for Growth and Expansion) program, the agency can identify occupational and industry trends and their effects on local and regional economies.
Since August 2008, the Comptroller has responded to 638 Texas EDGE requests from city and county government officials, economic development corporations, private businesses and members of the media. These requests have covered many topics including demographics, economic development, economic modeling and taxes.
The Comptroller also can provide local demographic data, identify business clusters and provide maps of regional roadways and waterways. For assistance, please visit Texas EDGE or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The agency also provides local governments with information about tax-related programs and helps them identify opportunities to raise funds for economic development efforts through property, sales and franchise tax revenues, exemptions and credits. The agency also provides information on special assessments and other opportunities related to disaster relief.
SECO is anticipating $290.2 million in federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help local governments.
The Comptroller’s Texas Ahead Web portal and Window on State Government site provide information on tax programs and incentives, best practices and economic indicators, as well as reports and publications such as a recent report on Texas work force training, Texas Works. Texas EDGE also allows users to build customized models using region-specific data of their choosing.
Finally, the Comptroller’s State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) can help local governments slash their energy costs and adopt cost-effective clean energy technologies. SECO offers local governments a free preliminary energy audit of their facilities. These audits provide recommendations for reducing electricity consumption by improving the efficiency of heating and air conditioning systems and lighting.
SECO is anticipating $290.2 million in federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help local governments save energy, create or retain jobs in the community, increase energy generation from renewable resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
PHOTO: Seguin Gazette-Enterprise
All links were valid at the time of publication. Changes to web sites not maintained by the office of the Texas Comptroller may not be reflected in the links below.
- 1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “NAICS Supersectors for CES Program,” (Last visited August 21, 2009.)
- 2 H-E-B, “History”; Forbes.com, “America’s Largest Private Companies: #13 HE Butt Grocery”; Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Market Report 2009: San Antonio (College Station, Texas, 2009), p. 16, ; and H-E-B, “H-E-B Launches Initiative to Encourage Commuters to Go Green: ‘H-E-B 15,000,000 Mile Commuter Challenge’ Rewards Eco-Friendly Efforts with Groceries” Houston, Texas, March 23, 2009. (Press release.) (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 3 Forbes.com, “America’s Largest Private Companies: #13 HE Butt Grocery”; H-E-B, “History”; Funding Universe, “H.E. Butt Grocery Company” ; “H-E-B Mexico Rolls Out DemandTec Everyday Price Optimization” Reuters (January 7, 2009), ; and Progressive Grocer, “HEB Opens New Warehouse” . (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 4 H-E-B, “Supply Chain Careers” . (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 5 David Hendricks, “H-E-B’s Newest GM Personifies Its System,” San Antonio Express-News (August 23, 2008), p. 1C; H-E-B, “Store Careers” ; H-E-B “Leadership Development Opportunities” ; and “Former UT Longhorn and Dallas Cowboy Wane McGarity Joins H-E-B to Lead Company’s Health and Wellness Initiatives” San Antonio, Texas, February 29, 2009, . (Last visited August 26, 2009.)
- 6 H.E. Butt Foundation, “About the Foundation: History” ; Kristy Ozmun, “Butt, Howard Edward (1895-1991)” in Handbook of Texas Online, ; Funding Universe, “H.E. Butt Grocery Company”; H-E-B, “Statewide Winners Announced at the 2008 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards: H-E-B Awards a Total of $380,000 to Outstanding Texas Educators and School Districts” Houston, Texas, May 5, 2008, (Press release); H-E-B, “H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards” ; “H-E-B Tournament of Champions Sets New Record and Raises $4.5 Million for Texas Non-Profits” San Antonio, Texas, June 6, 2008 . (Press release.) (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 7 H-E-B, “H-E-B Celebrates Earth Day By Giving Away 300,000 Reusable Shopping Bags, Four Hours Only, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Only on Earth Day, April 22: Event Will Get 1.5 Million Plastic Bags Out of Circulation and Into Recycling” Houston, Texas, April 17, 2009, (Press release); “H-E-B Deepens its Commitment to Environmental Sustainability: Company Becomes First Major Retailer to Power Stores with Windtricity” San Antonio, Texas, April 23, 2008. (Press release.) (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 8 Data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. The “Other Services” sector represents all industries covered under the two-digit NAICS code 82. These are industries primarily engaged in the provision of repair and maintenance services for automotive, electronic, commercial and industrial machines and equipment. The sector also includes personal services such as laundry; dry cleaning; hair, nail and skin care; funeral parlors; and organizations that have religious, social advocacy, civic, political and business purposes.
- 9 Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. “Overview” http://www.fpcusa.com/. (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 10 Interview with Jim Shepherd, Communications director, Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A., Point Comfort, Texas, June 23, 2009.
- 11 Data provided by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, July 2009; e-mail communication from Doyle Fuchs, Market News Specialist, Texas Department of Agriculture, September 1, 2009; Ruben E. Ochoa, “Frio County” in Handbook of Texas Online, Floresville Peanut Festival Association, “History” ; Seguin Convention and Visitors Bureau, “Things to See and Do” ; Hill Country Fruit Council, “Guide to Finding Texas Hill Country Peaches” ; Stonewall Chamber of Commerce, “Stonewall, Texas” (last visited August 24, 2009); Texas Wine, “Toast a Rising Star – Media Kit,” (last visited July 22, 2009); Texas Winegrape Network, “Winegrowing Regions of Texas – Bell Mountain” , “Winegrowing Regions of Texas - Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country” ; “Winegrowing Regions of Texas - Texas Hill Country” ; Promised Land Dairy, “Our Products,” ; Promised Land Dairy, “Contact Us” , (last visited August 26, 2009); “Fresh Herbs a Growing Business” Business Images: Alamo Area (April 14, 2008), ; Texas Department of Agriculture, “TDA Certified Organic Businesses - Alphabetic by Type” p. 3, ; and Wildseed Farms, “Welcome!” . (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 12 National Governors Association, A Governor’s Guide to Cluster-Based Economic Development (Washington, D.C., 2002), p. 9. (Last visited August 21, 2009.)
- 13 Laila Assanie and Mine Yücel, “Industry Clusters Shape Texas Economy,” Southwest Economy (September/October 2007), pp. 1-8. (Last visited August 21, 2009.)
- 14 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “NAICS Supersectors for CES Program.”
- 15 Victor Godinez, “AT&T Moving Headquarters to Dallas from San Antonio,” Dallas Morning News (June 27, 2008), (last visited July 17, 2009); Texas A&M Real Estate Center, Market Report 2009: San Antonio, p. 16 ; interview with Kerri Hibbs, director of Communications, AT&T, San Antonio, Texas, June 23, 2009; and AT&T, “AT&T Supports Creation of San Antonio Boy Scouts Leadership Development Facility with $1 Million Grant” San Antonio, Texas, July 30, 2009. (Press release.) (Last visited June 23, 2009.)
- 16 Toyota, “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc.,” (last visited July 17, 2009); Mark Williams, “Feature: Toyota Goes to Texas” Motor Trend (January 6, 2007) ; Jim Forsyth, Chris Baltimore, Philip Barbara and Peter Cooney, “Toyota’s U.S. Workers Avoid Layoff Threat for Now,” Reuters (February 17, 2009); and the International Society of Automation, “San Antonio Home to New Toyota Plant; GM to Retrofit Ga. Plant”. (Last visited August 24, 2009); and “Toyota Moving Tacoma Production to San Antonio” Austin American Statesman (August 28, 2009) (Last visited August 28, 2009).
- 17 U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, “State Personal Income 2008,” Washington, D.C., March 24, 2009. (Last visited August 21, 2009.) (Press release.)
- 18 Caterpillar Inc., “The History of Caterpillar” ; Texas Office of the Governor, “Caterpillar Breaks Ground on Manufacturing Facility in Seguin” Seguin, Texas, January 21, 2009, (press release); and Roger Croteau and Vicki Vaughan, “Caterpillar Bringing 1400 Jobs to Area” San Antonio Express-News (December 18, 2009). (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 19 Data provided by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., “Fastest Growing Occupations”; and Texas Workforce Commission, “Wage Information Network”. (Last visited May 5, 2009.) Custom queries created.
- 20 Albany International, ”Albany International is a Global Advanced Textiles and Materials Processing Company” (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 21 Interview with Dan Rogers, president and CEO, Kendall County Economic Development Corporation, Boerne, Texas, July 14, 2009.
- 22 W. Scott Bailey, “Albany Engineered Composites Plans 330-Employee Expansion in Boerne” San Antonio Business Journal (January 25, 2008). (Last visited August 24, 2009.)
- 23 San Antonio Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, “The Shops at La Cantera” ; and The New Braunfels Marketplace, “Marketplace” , see “Shops.” (Last visited August 25, 2009).
- 43 James Avery Craftsman Inc., “The Business…A Simple Beginning –in a Garage” ; interview with George Lee, chief financial officer and vice president of Supply, James Avery Craftsman, Inc., Kerrville, Texas, July 1, 2009; James Avery Craftsman Inc., “Avery in the Community: Healthcare and Relief” ; “Avery in the Community: Arts and Culture” ; “Avery in the Community: the Environment” . (Last visited August 24, 2009.)